Literary theoretician, poet, and physician, born in Valladolid, NWC Spain. Appointed doctor to María, sister of Felipe II and widow of Maximilian II, he wrote the dry epic El Pelayo
(1605) when still a youth. Later he versified the Pronósticos de Hipócrates
, wrongly attributed to the doctor of Cos, and translated the sections from Thucydides dealing with the plague at Athens. The only 16th-c work that can be called a complete system of literary criticism is his Philosophia antigua poética
(1596), ostensibly a commentary in dialogue form on the poetics of Aristotle and Horace and the aesthetics of Plato, but in fact a serious and substantially independent work which, in its discussion of the theatre, defends the dramatic unities against the school of Lope de Vega. López Pinciano translated Horace into Spanish (1591; reprinted in Lisbon, 1592).